Understanding the many different components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can be a daunting task. This week, I’d like to share some important information about federal funds for expanding health coverage.
Thankfully, the Maine Center for Economic Policy and Maine Equal Justice Partners have thoroughly researched this topic and recently published a report on the impact for Maine of accepting federal dollars for health coverage.
The report concludes that:
Maine has an opportunity to cover more people and save millions of dollars currently spent to treat uninsured people in emergency rooms. We can do this by accepting federal dollars to provide health coverage to approximately 69,500 uninsured Mainers. This decision is in the hands of Maine’s legislature and governor. It will have important consequences for Maine’s economy and people.
I encourage you to read the full report. In the meantime, here are some of the main points. By 2016, new federal funds will:
- Provide health coverage to as many as 69,500 uninsured Maine people.
- Stimulate over $350 million in economic activity.
- Create more than 3,100 jobs here in Maine.
- Prevent Maine from losing funds set aside by Congress for Maine people.
- Slow the growth of health insurance costs for everyone.
Here at the FPA, because of our commitment to women’s health, we always ask, “What about the women?”
It’s clear that Maine’s acceptance of federal funds to increase health coverage will have a tremendously positive impact on Maine women and their families.
The National Women’s Law Center reports that 20,000 Maine women would gain insurance coverage if we cover more Mainers under Medicaid. Women are far more likely to care for dependent children on their own and women live longer and are far more likely to live in poverty in their old age. Medicaid provides coverage for services women need including comprehensive maternity care, family planning services and treatment for breast and cervical cancer.
And what’s good for Maine women is good for Maine families. The Department of Labor estimates that women make approximately 80% of health care decisions for their family. So, when the health care system works for women, entire families benefit.
Do you know someone who would benefit from an increase in health coverage? Is that someone you? Sign the petition to encourage the Maine legislature to accept the federal funds to increase health coverage.